FY2023 Annual Report

Synapse Biology Unit
Professor Yukiko Goda


Tomoe, Yukiko, Alisher, Dimitar, Mamoru, Tetiana

Paulette, Wen-Hsin, Maria, Anna,Vasileios


The Synapse Biology Unit studies how the dynamic features of synaptic connections arise and how such properties contribute to information processing in the brain. Synaptic communication involves not only the interaction between neurons but interactions with the astrocyte network. However, much remains to be clarified of the cellular and molecular basis by which synapse-astrocyte interactions are regulated. In one approach, we are exploring a role for cell adhesion molecules in such a process (Saint-Martin and Goda, 2022). In another study, we have examined the possible contribution of diffusible signaling from astrocytes back to synapses, where we have identified astrocyte-dependent control of the directionality of synaptic plasticity (Letellier and Goda, 2023). During FY2023, we have settled into a new lab space, welcomed three new staff members, and are pushing forward with several projects.

1. Unit members


  • Dr. Yukiko Goda, Professor
  • Dr. Mamoru Tanaka, Postdoctoral Scholar (April 2022 -)
  • Dr. Maria Vasquez Pavon, Postdoctoral Scholar (January 2023 -)
  • Dr. Vasileios Glykos, Postdoctoral Scholar (April 2023 -)
  • Dr. Wen-Hsin Lu, Postdoctoral Scholar (September 2023 -)
  • Alisher Khojanazarov, Research Unit Technician (September 2022 -)
  • Dimitar Dimitrov, Research Unit Technician (September 2023 -)
  • Tomoe Furuya, Research Unit Administrator (April 2022 -)

PhD student

  • Paulette Garcia Andaluz (January 2023 -)

PhD rotation students

  • Amy Xia Yi Yong (Jan - Apr 2023)
  • Anna Pavlovska (Sep - Dec 2023)
  • Aurellia Ramara Winaya (Jan - Apr 2024)

Research interns

  • Sofia Lloyd-Escribano (Oct 2022 -Jul 2023)
  • Sten Uijtewaal (Apr - Sep 2023)
  • Hiroki Tokizaki (May - Sep 2023)
  • Natsumi Sadaoka (Aug - Oct 2023)
  • Tetiana Salamovska (Sep 2023 - Feb 2024)

2. Collaborations

2.1 SHINKA grant collaboration

  • Astrocyte regulation of neural network activity in health and disease
  • Type of collaboration: Joint research (ongoing)
  • Researchers:
    • Professor Ko Matsui, Tohoku University

3. Activities and Findings

3.1 Manuscript preparation (from previous affiliation)

  • Chater TE, Eggl MF, Goda Y*, Tchumatchenko T*. Competitive processes shaping multi-synapse plasticity along dendritic segments. In revision. (*co-corresponding authors)

4. Publications

4.1 Journals

  1. Eggl MF*, Chater TE*, Petkovic J, Goda Y, Tchumatchenko T. (2023) Linking spontaneous and stimulated spine dynamics. Commun Biol 2023 Sep 11;6(1):930. doi: 10.1038/s42003-023-05303-1.
  2. Letellier M, Goda Y. (2023) Astrocyte calcium signaling shifts the polarity of presynaptic plasticity. Neuroscience 525, 38-46

4.2 Books and other one-time publications

Nothing to report

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations

Oral Presentations

  1. Goda Y. Features of synaptic strength regulation, Neuroscience: Breaching the Research Barrier 2023, Putrajaya, Malaysia. June 15 (2023),
  2. Goda, Y. Features of synaptic strength regulation, OIST Computational Neuroscience Course Lecture. July 01 (2023).
  3. Goda Y. Regulating vesicle traffic along axons and at boutons, OIST Developmental Neuroscience Course Lecture. July 22 (2023).
  4. Goda, Y. Astrocyte regulation of synaptic strength diversity, ISN-ESN Satellite Symposium, Braga, Portugal. Aug 05 (2023).
  5. Goda Y. Fine-tuning synaptic strengths in local circuits, OIST-RIKEN Brain Symposium. Aug 21 (2023).
  6. Goda Y. Fine-tuning synaptic strengths in local circuits, IBRO Congress, Granada, Spain. Sept 12 (2023).
  7. Goda Y. Synaptic strength tuning in local circuits by astrocytes. 50th Naito Conference on Glia World, Sapporo, Japan. Oct 11 (2023).
  8. Goda Y. Synaptic strength tuning in local circuits by astrocytes. Brain Matters Club NISER (online). Jan 6 (2024).
  9. Goda Y. Probing synapse-astrocyte interactions: new roles for familiar molecules. Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences Seminar Series, City University of Hong Kong (online). Mar 11 (2024).
  10. Goda Y. Probing synapse-astrocyte interactions: new roles for familiar molecules. Core-to-Core Synapse Symposium, Goettingen, Germany. Mar 14 (2024).

Poster Presentation

  1. Saint-Martin, M and Goda, Y. A role for APP and APP-like proteins in astrocyte development, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., USA. Nov 14 (2023).

5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements

Nothing to report

6. Meetings and Events

6.1  Seminar "A kinase and a phosphatase: molecular basis of inherited Parkinson’s disease"

  • Date: June 23, 2024
  • Venue: OIST Campus Lab3 C700
  • Speaker: Prof. Suzanna Pfeffer (Biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine)

6.2  Seminar "Transcriptional heterogeneity arising from a signal transduction-transcription factor network"

  • Date: April 24, 2023
  • Venue: OIST Campus Lab3 C700
  • Speaker: Prof. Mariko Okada (Osaka University)

7. Other

Nothing to report.